University Relations Office
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880
News and Events Details
Robert "Bob" Downs Sr. was more than just a citizen of Superior he was a proud area businessman who had a huge impact not only on his family, but in the community and UW-Superior as well.
Downs died on July 9 at the age of 86.
He was a third generation funeral director who often thought of others and was always willing to help out when needed.
One of his long-time friends was Superior native and Hall of Fame football coach Bud Grant. It was Downs who introduced Grant recently at the Hometown Hall of Fame program May 1 at Superior High School. Downs played football with Grant while growing up in Superior and the former Minnesota Vikings head coach spoke fondly of spending time with Downs playing youth and high school sports. Grant was one of the pallbearers along with several other friends and family members.
Downs was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Superior before serving in the military and later served on the UW-Superior Foundation board from 1990-2002.
UW-Superior Emeritus Foundation board member, and longtime friend Rod Campbell told the Superior Telegram in a story on Downs, "I think our community is going to miss him." Campbell first met Downs at the age of 8 at the YMCA camp in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin. In his personal estimation, he said, Downs was the "most outstanding citizen that's come out of this area for years."
He also served our country in the U.S. Navy in World War II and the Korean War.
The Superior business owner graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science and died in his home surrounded by his devoted family. He is survived by three children and loved to hunt and fish, especially in the Wascott area. Bowling and golfing were other activities he also enjoyed.
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